Works in the Collection
Loïs Mailou Jones was born on November 3, 1905, in Boston, Massachusetts. She began studying art taking evening classes at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, then went on to study at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Design Art School, and Harvard University. She then continued her studies at Columbia University before graduating with a bachelor’s degree from Howard University. She was an active painter in the Harlem Renaissance and exhibited in multiple Harmon Foundation exhibitions. An educator and mentor, Jones taught art at Howard University for 47 years and was a lifelong advocate and supporter of black artists in Africa and the Caribbean. While at Howard, Jones traveled extensively, her trips ranging from a sabbatical at the Academie Julian in Paris, to long term travels throughout Africa and the Caribbean. Jones’ diligent documentation of her journeys resulted in an archive of over 1000 slides which continue to be an incredible resource for the fields of African and Caribbean art history.
Loïs’ legacy will not be forgotten. Her status as being one of the longest living artists of the Harlem Renaissance has established her as a vanguard to the Civil Rights Movement. Loïs’ work has garnered much attention domestically and internationally. She has been repeatedly invited to speak at the White House, 15 foreign embassies, numerous college campuses, and even with important heads of state. Her works can be found in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the National Museum of Afro-American Artists, and many other museums and private collections.